James Lileks | The Bleat 11-21-03When Entertainment Tonight was new, I thought it was... cute. A whole half-hour of entertainment coverage dressed up like news. Interesting idea. It'll never last.
You know what? Michael Moore is right. There are many Americans who are ignorant of the world around them. And they're all TV news producers. Two big bombs in Istanbul, and what's the big story of the day? Following around a pervy slab of albino Play-Doh as he turns himself into the police. I was stunned to discover last night that Nightline not only covered the Jackson case in detail, but bumped coverage of the Whitehall speech, which was the most important speech since the Iraq campaign began and arguably the most important speech of the war, period.
...Yes, yes, Iraq, Britain, nice speech, hear-hear and all that, but what about Michael Jackson? That's the problem in a nutshell: the war and Michael Jackson are items of equal weight. The only question is which will get better ratings.
Mark Evanier | Waiting for Michael
Bush is in England, bombs are exploding in Istanbul and Iraq, killer storms are flooding the Eastern seaboard...and on CNN, the most important issue is whether The King of Pop is on a plane or in a van. Fill in your own snide remark.
Just shows what I know.
What I should have realized is that after show-business news adopted the trappings of "serious" news, the next logical step is for serious news to adopt the content of entertainment. Had television news been around in 1945, they would have foregone the Yalta conference to question the effect of the Andrews Sisters' "Rum and Coca-Cola" on America's youth.